Supreme Court Orders Orji Uzor Kalu To Face Corruption Charges
BEVERLY HILLS, March 18, (THEWILL) – The Supreme Court has given the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, the permission to prosecute the former Governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu on a 107-count corruption charge.
The Apex court ruled on Friday that the corruption trial of Kalu by the anti-graft body must continue.
Kalu has been accused of illegally diverting about N5.6 billion meant for the state between 1999 and 2007 when he was governor.
He was charged before the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court on July 27, 2007 but he challenged the competence of the charge against him, as well as the jurisdiction of the High Court to hear and determine the case.
Following the disappointment by the trial court to drop the charges, Kalu, proceeded to the Court of Appeal in Abuja which also upheld the competence of the charge, adding that the high court was constitutionally empowered to exercise jurisdiction on the trial.
Dissatisfied, Kalu, through his lawyer Chief Awa Kalu, (SAN) appealed to the Supreme Court, praying that it set aside the decisions of the lower courts arguing that the proof of evidence by the agency against him did not nail him to the commission of any crime.
In its ruling, the Supreme Court, in a unanimous judgment on Friday, delivered by Justice Suleiman Galadima, dismissed the appeal and ordered the appellant to go and face his trial before the high court.
The court also ordered the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta, to re-assign the case to another Judge to enable the trial to commence afresh with accelerated hearing of the matter.
Story by David Oputah